Pop Life

Author: Ryan Loveless

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Rating: 3 stars

Buy Links: DSP & Amazon

Type: Novella

Provided by Publisher


Blurb:  Andrew writes the songs everyone sings along with on the radio—tunes full of love, longing, and heartbreak. He has a knack for tapping into emotions, but when it comes to his own, the feelings aren’t so easy to manage. Sent to New York City to work on Irish singer Paeder Brogan’s first solo album, Andrew is caught in the middle of a boy band’s infighting and secret love affairs while battling the memories of his last trip to the Big Apple, which ended when English pop star Jamie Webster drunkenly kissed him.

Andrew’s heart leaps when he discovers he’s staying at the same hotel as Jamie, yet he doubts Jamie recalls him, even though Andrew wrote his biggest hit. Jamie remembers him, though, and he seems to think Andrew is the only person who can save him from his downward spiral. Even as his feelings for Jamie swell, Andrew faces the real threat that the maelstrom he’s walked into will pull him down alongside Jamie.


Review: I REALLY wanted to like this one more than I did. Parts of it would pull me in and then I’d have the moments where I couldn’t help but wonder why anybody liked these guys. I love reading about rockers. These guys are more pop stars but live life off stage like rock stars. Screwing groupies. Each other. Binge drinking. Fighting. After stepping away from this book and some of the truly crappy things these guys do to each other, I realized that I just never warmed up to any of them.

Andrew is part of a song writing duo with his best friend. He’s headed to New York for a wedding for a few days. There he’s to meet with a solo artist from a boy band he’s written for before. A guy he doesn’t really like. His band mates he’s fond of. It just so happens that the pop star he’s had crush on since he kissed him. Jamie was trashed at the time and Andrew thinks he doesn’t remember it but that’s not the case.

Jamie was a hot mess. He’s a recovering addict who has nightmares. Pushes himself to exhaustion to get some sleep. Jamie is also always after some kind of thrill. Something from his past has him constantly dealing with guilt. Keeping control of his demons is something Jamie constantly struggles with. He thinks poorly of himself in private. In public he puts on a sexy rock god persona. I wanted to feel bad for him but never fully did. Or not with the depth that I thought was trying to be achieved in this story. Which makes forgiving him for hurting Andrew difficult. Andrew was there for him when Jamie needs him but later Jamie would push him away again. There was a lot of playing with Andrews emotions. I didn’t think there was enough between them to make me understand why Andrew was so crazy about Jamie after one kiss. I kind of felt their connection in the present but then Jamie would crap on it. To be fair Andrew was fine with letting him treat him badly so it wasn’t all Jamie.

The other band mate’s secondary love story was just crazy. I REALLY disliked Jeff and Paeder. Both were kind of sex crazed and vile. Neither was even remotely bothered with the fact they hurt people repeatedly. The reasoning given for Jeff made him slightly better than Paeder IMO but not much. This part of the story was a non stop drama fest. I think without all of this I might have been able to handle all the angst from Jamie better. Together it was just a lot of indulgent selfish behavior.

Too bad this was a miss for me since I love this trope. I liked how they were all friends but I can honestly say the only one in the group I liked was a secondary character named Russell. Oh and maybe Michael. They all knew each other really well. It’s basically condoning a bunch of bad behavior which apparently I didn’t care for. There is a happy ending.

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